The next in an occasional series examining the most unusual accommodations on WWF tours.
Exploring Torres del Paine National Park in southern Chile is certainly a highlight of any trip to Patagonia. Its famous “horns and towers”—igneous rock spires millions of years old – dominate the horizon. For many travelers, camping is the norm when visiting the park, but we enjoy surprising luxury at our lodging, Ecocamp Patagonia.
Approaching the remote Ecocamp is a surreal sight. It’s made up of large, individually domed suites modeled on the nomad-style, native huts of the Kawesqa people, an indigenous group that has historically occupied the region for hundreds of years. The design is ideal for handling Patagonia’s strong winds, which can reach up to 100 miles an hour.
The camp was carefully created to produce as little ecological impact as possible. The energy used to run the camp is obtained solely from natural and renewal sources, including water, sun and wind power. Waste management is handled a variety of ways, from feeding local pigs the organic waste to a sophisticated bathroom composting system.
Considering all this, the comfort of the camp is unexpected. Each suite has a private bathroom (but leave your hair dryer at home, there are no plugs) and is heated by a low-emission wood stove. Dining takes place within two large domes, and a “resting dome” includes a small library.
After a day of hiking, retire to your bed and look up: Round windows in the ceiling reveal the stars of Patagonia.